The Currency

HENI is delighted to present The Currency, the first NFT collection by Damien Hirst. Reimagining the way NFTs are used, The Currency consists of 10,000 artworks that exist as either NFT or physical artwork, forcing collectors to choose between the two mediums.

Starting with the creation of the physical artworks in 2016, The Currency is the latest iteration of the iconic Spot Paintings series by Damien Hirst. The artwork explores the boundaries of art and currency—when art changes and becomes a currency, and when currency becomes art.

Successful applicants initially received the artwork as NFT, and were given one year to decide to keep the NFT or exchange it for the physical artwork. Whichever you chose, the other got burned. The exchange period closed on 27 July 2022 resulting in 4,851 holders deciding to keep the NFT, and 5,149 to keep the physical artwork, for a total of 10,000 artworks in the collection. In September 2022 The Currency Exhibition opened, showing all 10,000 artworks with the 4,851 physical artworks that collectors chose to keep as NFTs being burnt gradually throughout the course of the exhibition.

The collection is on the Palm blockchain, a token-powered ecosystem for NFTs which has a two-way bridge to Ethereum, and features low gas costs, fast transaction finality, and 99% more energy efficiency than proof of work systems.

Throughout the project, holders received several exclusive perks such as an airdrop of Damien Hirst’s second NFT collection, Great Expectations; a private tour of Damien Hirst's London studios; limited-edition merchandise featuring the artworks and community-inspired designs; and the opportunity to burn their own physical artwork at the burning exhibition.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is a British artist whose name has become synonymous with contemporary art. Since his generative work as a student at Goldsmiths College of Art, Hirst’s production has been boundary‐redefining in nature. Working across media, including installation, painting, sculpture, drawing and NFTs, Hirst explores the complex relationships between art, beauty, religion, science, life and death. He constantly returns to these foundational interests and themes, which he reworks to develop an innovative visual language.

"The Currency is an artwork, and anyone who buys it will participate in this work, it’s not just about owning it. It is the most exciting project I have ever worked on by far."

10,000 Unique Works

Damien Hirst’s spot paintings remain one of the most recognizable motifs in contemporary art, known for their perfect circles in a grid format. Since its first iteration in 1986, the series has seen many variations, but it wasn’t until 2016 that Hirst dispensed the rules for his Colour Space paintings, and allowed the work to become more organic. The works of The Currency evolved from this exploration, with the spots appearing like particles or atoms.

The Currency marries one of Hirst’s most generative bodies of work to his lifelong fascination for technology and materiality. Ever disrupting art world conventions, the artist's use of NFTs is an important development in his ongoing interest in notions of ownership and collecting.

The Currency challenges the concept of value through money and art. Each of the unique 10,000 hand painted works are launched as NFTs on the blockchain. Each artwork is uniquely titled and numbered (1-10,000). The titles are generated from machine learning being applied to some of the artist's favourite song lyrics. The collector decides how to use their art/currency. Keep it, trade it, change it, use it, enjoy it.


Similar to other forms of currency, anti-counterfeiting measures are employed to ensure authenticity. Each work of The Currency has several measures that safeguard the authenticity, both of the physical artwork and the digital NFT.

The paper is hand made and is cut manually, producing spontaneous imperfections and asymmetries. Each unique artwork is numbered, titled, stamped with the Hirst logo and signed by the artist on the back. Additional authenticity features include a watermark, as well as a microdot and a hologram containing a portrait of the artist.

The NFTs are minted on the Palm blockchain which tracks the authenticity and movements of each NFT. Hirst has always embraced new technologies in order to enrich his work.

Anti-counterfeiting measures


1. hologram

Choose Your Currency

The Currency, launched in July 2021, is a collection of 10,000 NFTs which correspond with 10,000 original artworks by Damien Hirst. Collectors were given the choice to either keep the NFT or exchange it for the physical artwork.

Every choice made – to keep the NFT, or keep the painting – had consequences. Collectors that chose to claim a physical artwork had to burn their NFT to do so. Similarly, those who chose to keep their NFT did so knowing that the physical artwork would then be destroyed. The exchange period closed on 27 July 2022 resulting in just over half the collectors (5,149) deciding to keep the physical artwork, and 4,851 to keep the NFT.

In September 2022 The Currency Exhibition opened, showing all 10,000 artworks with the 4,851 physical artworks that collectors chose to keep as NFTs being burnt gradually throughout the course of the exhibition. To officially start the burn period, Damien Hirst commenced burning his own 1,000 physical artworks. A limited number of collectors were invited to burn their own artworks.


Using a machine learning algorithm, all of the different identifying features of each work have been analyzed and ranked out of 10,000. From the amount of drips and splashes, to the texture of the paint, each artwork has a unique combination of ranked features.

You are able to compare and filter these rarities across the entire collection of The Currency, using our gallery below. For example, 1.22% of works from the series have profanity in their title, which translates to just 122 works.

The Currency Oracle

The Currency Oracle was launched by HENI in 2022, making The Currency the first NFT project to use Chainlink oracles for pricing its NFTs across blockchains. The oracle brings pricing data onto the blockchain so that smart contracts can fetch the current value of The Currency NFTs at any given time. By bridging The Currency Price Index data on-chain, smart contract developers can use the pricing data in multiple ways, such as to build prediction markets around the floor price, launch lending markets with The Currency NFTs as collateral, or facilitate payments based on real-time exchange rates.